a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Thomas Tamm

Posted by Thomas Nephew on December 30th, 2008

…appears to be the Department of Justice official who blew the whistle to the New York Times about the NSA warrantless surveillance program.  I’ll lead with the important stuff first: (Paypal/credit card – ready)
…. or
Thomas Tamm Legal Defense Fund
Bank of Georgetown
5236 44th Street
Washington, DC 20015

From Michael Isikoff’s Newsweek article (“The Fed Who Blew the Whistle“):

During his childhood, he played under the desk of J. Edgar Hoover, and as an adult, he enjoyed a long and successful career as a prosecutor. Now gray-haired, 56 and fighting a paunch, Tamm prides himself on his personal rectitude. He has what his 23-year-old son, Terry, calls a “passion for justice.” For that reason, there was one secret he says he felt duty-bound to reveal.

In the spring of 2004, Tamm had just finished a yearlong stint at a Justice Department unit handling wiretaps of suspected terrorists and spies—a unit so sensitive that employees are required to put their hands through a biometric scanner to check their fingerprints upon entering. While there, Tamm stumbled upon the existence of a highly classified National Security Agency program that seemed to be eavesdropping on U.S. citizens. The unit had special rules that appeared to be hiding the NSA activities from a panel of federal judges who are required to approve such surveillance. When Tamm started asking questions, his supervisors told him to drop the subject. He says one volunteered that “the program” (as it was commonly called within the office) was “probably illegal.”

While it should be the other way around, it’s Tamm and not his supervisors who faces legal trouble now.  The Justice Department hasn’t filed charges for disclosing classified information — yet.  But Mr. Tamm’s need for legal counsel is still immediate and expensive. You can help him out by joining a Facebook support group, and of course by sending a donation to the address above. It may not be tax-deductible, but you’ll be doing your country and your Constitution a favor.

EDIT, UPDATE 1/21/09: link to added.

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